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William McGuire Lends His Support


William B. McGuire, ’58, is a strong believer in the power of collective action to shape the future. It’s one of the reasons he is such an active member within the legal profession, serving on the national, state and county bars and within various associations. And it’s also the reason he has remained such a strong supporter of Seton Hall Law.

Among the many efforts he has supported are the building of the Law School’s current facility; formation of its Board of Visitors, which he chairs; and expansion of the Law School’s Annual Fund, to which he has contributed nearly since the date of his graduation.

So when Dean Patrick Hobbs asked him if he would become an early contributor to the Seton Hall Law Rising capital campaign and serve on the campaign’s leadership team, there was no hesitation. He pledged $100,000 to the Annual Fund to help ensure Seton Hall Law would have a means for supporting programs and services tuition dollars alone cannot address.

“Seton Hall Law gave me an opportunity to practice in the noblest profession of all,” he says. “I think every alumnus and alumna has an obligation to their alma mater. It’s up to us to continue to enhance the Law School’s stature and the value of the Seton Hall Law degree.”

Because of the value of his degree, McGuire says, he has been able to pursue and develop a successful career and practice. He is a founding partner of Tompkins, McGuire, Wachenfeld & Barry in Newark, and practices in the areas of complex insurance coverage, professional liability defense, directors and officers lawsuits, class actions, and securities law, and often is called upon to act as an arbitrator or mediator in complex litigation.

He also is a Past President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, the Essex County Bar Association, as well as a Member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation, and the International Society of Barristers.

Asked why he believes it’s important to devote his time and resources to the profession, he replies with an immediate answer. “Because it’s the right thing to do. It’s important not only for the profession, but for the good of the public.”

His vision in supporting Seton Hall Law, he says, is to expand Seton Hall Law’s reputation as a top law school that already attracts highly qualified students and has an outstanding faculty.

“Locally, Seton Hall Law already is recognized as a top law school,” he says. “Now we need to project Seton Hall Law as among the top law schools in the country.”

The goals of the $25 million Seton Hall Law Rising campaign are to provide the foundation and resources for that to take place. Funding provided through the campaign will allow the Law School to increase its scholarship support to students, enhance faculty resources, expand its trial practice and clinical programs, and improve its facilities to provide a technologically advanced teaching and learning environment.

“The Law School has come a long way since I was a student attending classes on Clinton Street,” says McGuire. “Now it’s our obligation to continue to move it forward.”